You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

NRL 2020: Panthers coach Ivan Cleary confirms captain James Tamou will leave club at end of season

Sporting News logo Sporting News 6 days ago Nathan Williamson

Penrith Panthers coach Ivan Cleary has confirmed that captain James Tamou will leave the club at the end of the season, with the prop set to sign with the Wests Tigers.

The 31-year-old joined the Panthers from the North Queensland Cowboys in 2017, having played 93 games for the club.

However, Tamou is set to become a victim of salary cap pressures, with Channel 7 journalist Michelle Bishop revealing that he will link up Michael Maguire and the Tigers on a two-year deal.

His departure was confirmed by Cleary on Thursday, who thanked the former NSW and Australian prop for his services and leadership as he guided their young roster to the minor premiership.

“I’d like to thank Jimmy for everything that he’s done for the club,” Cleary told reporters on Thursday.

“He’s a very well respected person first of all and an outstanding human being.

“He’s a great family man, complete humility and he drives our standards, a great man for our young team to look up not just as a person but then as a player that’s done everything and yet still turns up every day and tries and improves.

“Just an unfortunate by-product of the salary cap, that’s just how it works and being a development club, we’ve had a lot of players come in this year, play well and get exposed and everyone wants a piece of the pie.

“It looks like he’s extended his career which is great to see, I think it’s fantastic for him and his family and the game.”

MORE:  Titans confirm immediate departure of Bryce Cartwright

With Tamou reprtedly making the decision in order to help free space for the next generation of players to develop and get game-time, Cleary was hopeful that attitude would rub off on the rest of the side.

“Absolutely, we value teamwork extremely highly and Jimmy, he’s the epitome of team first, that’s just what he’s like."

“I’ve loved working with him, seeing his development as a leader, particularly over the last 12 months since he’s become captain and he’s done an incredible job,

“Our success on the field is no small part because of Jimmy.”    

Replay Video

More From Sporting News

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon